News of potential compromises on EFCA continues to proliferate.
The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is suggesting two compromise proposals to EFCA: mail-in ballots and restricting the use of arbitrators in contract negotiations.
CQ Politics is reporting that Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the chief sponsor of EFCA, has expressed new optimism that the legislation could reach the Senate floor by this summer. Harkin apparently reversed his position, saying he will take EFCA directly to the floor if an agreement between senators is reached. Harkin had pledged just a few months ago that the bill would go through the regular committee process.
But not all Democrats share Harkin’s enthusiasm about EFCA’s prospects.
Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas did not appear to think that EFCA was on the same path as Harkin. Pryor said, “Sen. Harkin may be further along the path than I realize, but purely from my perspective, I wouldn’t say we’re even in a ‘working group’ stage yet … I’d say the earliest we could [address this] would be the next work period, but I don’t know if that’s realistic.”
And Pryor’s fellow senator from Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, who hasn’t been included in discussions, said, “I don’t support the card check bill as it is written. … If it’s another bill, if there’s something else they’re trying to accomplish, if somebody wants to bring labor and management together to come up with a compromise that they can both agree on, I’m certainly willing to look at that. But I don’t think that’s what’s happening.”